Home » Chemistry

Molecules – Simple science – Chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T12:51:58+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Protein molecules - each dot is one molecule. A molecule is a group of two or more atoms that stick together. Molecules (MOLL-uh-cyools) are so small that nobody can see them, except with an electron microscope. Pretty much everything on Earth and other planets is made of molecules, and so is some of [...]

What is a meson? Definition of a meson – Chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T10:09:46+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Mesons are tiny sub-atomic particles. Sub-atomic means they are smaller than atoms. They form out of quarks in high-energy situations. Mesons are about 2/3 the size of protons or neutrons. A meson is a kind of boson. All mesons are unstable: they form and break up again in less than a few hundredths of a microsecond. [...]

What is mercury? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T10:00:50+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of a mercury atom. Thanks to Open Door for this image Along with gold, lead, and uranium, mercury is one of the heavier kinds of atoms. Every atom of mercury has 80 protons and 121 neutrons in its nucleus. Like those atoms, all mercury atoms are made inside older stars that have [...]

What is lead? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T09:55:13+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

A lump of lead As with all of the other heavier elements, all of the lead in the universe came originally from inside stars. Lead is the heaviest atom that is still stable, with 82 protons and 125 neutrons, just a little heavier than mercury. Unlike many other metals, lead does not conduct electricity [...]

What is iron? Atoms, elements, chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T09:09:58+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of an iron atom When a red giant star finishes changing all of its helium into carbon and oxygen, it then starts to turn the carbon and oxygen atoms into iron atoms. Iron is the heaviest kind of atom that a star can make, so when a star has made most of its carbon and oxygen [...]

What is an ionic bond? Simple science – Chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T09:04:10+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Diagram of a molecule of salt, which uses an ionic bond When atoms get close together, sometimes they form ionic bonds that stick them together into molecules. These ionic bonds are generally stronger than covalent bonds. Some kinds of atoms, like sodium, have only one electron in their outside ring, which is an [...]

What are atoms? Simple science – Chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T09:00:24+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry, Physics|

Lithium, cobalt, and oxygen atoms (as in a lithium-ion battery), seen under an electron microscope from Berkeley Labs Atoms are collections of tiny bits of matter, particles which we call protons, neutrons, and electrons. These particles are made of even smaller particles called quarks. But even protons, neutrons, and electrons are so small you [...]

Ice, water, and simple chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T08:52:16+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

Perito Moreno glacier, Argentina (thanks to Argentina's Travel Guide) When water gets colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit or zero degrees Celsius, it freezes into ice. As the water gets colder, the molecules of water lose their energy and move more slowly - that's what it means to be colder. Molecules that move more [...]

What are hydrocarbons? Simple science – Chemistry

By | 2017-06-02T08:24:00+00:00 June 2nd, 2017|Chemistry|

A model of a methane molecule Hydrocarbons are molecules made out of hydrogen atoms and carbon atoms. Methane is the simplest hydrocarbon molecule: just one carbon atom with four hydrogen atoms stuck to it. Because both carbon and hydrogen were common in nebulae, hydrocarbon molecules are very common in space. Many of these molecules [...]